This was my initial reaction to Justice Clarence Thomas speaking (rather muttering) in court for the first time in almost 7 years. I had the pleasure to actually meet, sit down with, and talk to Justice Thomas back in 2007 during a summer internship working at the Supreme Court.
As I continue to check my twitter feed a week away from the next presidential Inauguration, I continue to see transcription posts or similar posts as to what was said in the courtroom today. What did he say? No one really knows. The only thing transcribed seemed to be the following words: “Well – he did not-”
Apparently it was a joke. A joke taken well in stride. It’s newsworthy when a justice breaks his silence with four words. No sarcasm intended, but this newsworthiness is the main reason I think we don’t hear too much from the Justice. They used to tease him as a kid. (Don’t feel bad, it’s a part of growing up). But, I’m glad the justices were able to share in a few chuckles today. Listening to cases can get boring sometimes. Could possibly explain why Justice Thomas looks sleepy most of the time.
However, as a kid that was made fun of because of the way one speaks and that is almost still misunderstood today due to my wonderful DC drawl, I understand why he doesn’t speak too much nowadays.
He does have the right to remain silent. I wonder how many times he’s actually been told that before replacing Thurgood in the courtroom.
*Drops the mic.